Paul O'Toole

Prof. Paul O’Toole

ELDERFOOD Project Coordinator
Department of Microbiology, University College Cork


Paul O’Toole graduated with BA (Mod) Microbiology (1984) and PhD (1987) from Trinity College Dublin, in microbial molecular genetics. He has extensive experience in bacterial genetics and gut microbiology, having spent 14 years outside Ireland working in Univ. Lund (Sweden), Univ. Victoria (Canada), Massey University (New Zealand), and GlaxoSmithKline (Philadelphia).Since 2002, he has led the Lactobacillus genomics programme at UCC, where he is a Senior Lecturer in Genetics at the Department of Microbiology, and the co-ordinator of the B.Sc. Genetics degree. As well as co-ordinating ELDERMET, he is a member of the International Co-ordination Board of the MetaHIT consortium, which is an EU-supported FP7 project for metagenomic analysis of healthy, obese and diabetic adults in Europe.

His research programme in bacterial genomics at UCC is funded by Dept. Agriculture Fisheries and Food, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology.


Catherine Stanton

Prof. Catherine Stanton

Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork


Prof. Catherine Stanton graduated with B.Sc (Hons) in Nutrition/Food Chemistry in 1983 and with M.Sc in Nutrition in 1986, both from University College, Cork. She did her PhD at Bournemouth University, UK in Biochemistry, graduating in 1988. After her PhD, she joined Johnson & Johnson UK, and later took a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Medicine, Wake Forest, University Medical Centre, Winston-Salem, NC, USA for 4 years, working on post-translational modifications of vitamin K dependent proteins, involved in blood clotting.In 1994, she joined Teagasc and over the past 14 years has built up the research programme on functional dairy foods. Her research interests include probiotics, microbial biogenic metabolite production, bioactive lipids, CLA/bioactive peptides and the nutritional aspects of dairy/functional foods. Prof. Stanton is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed papers. She is a Principal Investigator with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre and on the ELDERMET project.
Paul Ross

Prof. Paul Ross

Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork


Professor Paul Ross is Head of Biotechnology at the Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre (MFRC), Teagasc and a Principal Investigator in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) at National University of Ireland, Cork.Paul graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Microbiology/Biochemistry in 1984 and with a PhD in Microbiology in 1989, both from NUI, Cork. He took up a post-doctoral fellowship at the Dept. of Biochemistry, Wake Forest University Medical Centre, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. While there, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Professor and was a founding faculty member of their Molecular Genetics Programme.

His main interests, while in the US, were the study of unusual flavoprotein oxidases from enterococci including NADH peroxidise. He returned to Ireland in 1993 to take up a Senior Research Officer position at Teagasc, Moorepark to lead the research programme on Dairy Biotechnology. In 1997, he was appointed as Head of the Dairy Quality Department and then further promoted to Senior Principle Research Officer in 2001.

Paul is now Head of the newly constructed Biotechnology Centre at Moorepark. His main research interests are in antimicrobial peptides and anti-infectives, probiotics, milk bioactives bacteriocins, probiotics, gut microbiology and functional foods. He has published 191 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on 13 patents. In addition, he has supervised 38 post graduates (including 19 Ph.D.s and 19 Masters). He also has coordinated or been a (co-)principle investigator on numerous national, EU and National Institute Health (US) grants.

Prof. P. Ross currently stands on National (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) and International (EFSA) committees dealing with GMOs and novel foods. He also is a member of the Executive Management Group of the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, a virtual Centre between University College Cork and Teagasc (~ 100 scientists) devoted to the study of intestinal flora and their impact on human health. He is also on the Editorial Board of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In 2007, Paul received the William Haines Award in dairy Science from the California Dairy Research Foundation.


Fodhla Ní Chonchúir

Fodhla Ní Chonchúir

Phd student Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork

Fodhla graduated in 2013 from University College Cork with an honours degree in Microbiology. In 2010, she was awarded the title of College Scholar by the College of Science, Food Science and Engineering. Her final year research project under the supervision of Prof. Gerald Fitzgerald, investigated the technological robustness of Lactobacillus plantarum human isolate. Fodhla joined the ELDERFOOD project in July 2013 and will be developing dairy-based products intended to promote the health of elderly consumers through modulation of the human intestinal microbiota.
Alexandra Ntemiri

Alexandra Ntemiri

PhD student Department of Microbiology, University College Cork

Alexandra Ntemiri graduated in 2013 with a Masters in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Strathclyde Glasgow. Her thesis was on the genetic characterisation of Farmer’s Lung Disease causing strains of thermophilic actinobacteria where she used Next Generation Sequencing to sequence the thermophiles and identify extrinsic allergic alveolitis putative antigens. She was awarded an honours degree in Biology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Greece in 2011. Alexandra joined the ELDERFOOD project in July 2013 and will examine the prebiotic effects of dairy ingredients on gut bacteria in vitro and in an ex vivo human colon model.